This paper addresses basic dilemmas for higher education (HE) in development, posing three questions: ‘Where is HE in the global development agenda’? ‘What is the contribution of HE to development’? ‘What dimensions of development should HE address?’ It argues for broader conceptions of ‘higher education’ and ‘development’, countering global pressures pushing narrow, unsustainable interpretations to the fore. A critical approach involves broader developmental and cognitive rationales. An inclusive post-2015 agenda for HE should consider fundamental demands to transform knowledge and knowledge relationships to make ‘sustainable human development’ attainable. In practice, HE could re-imagine scholarship in a more holistic, integrated manner. Individual, specialist professional education can be re-aligned with societal visions for transformation, engaging diverse publics through curriculum and research that directly address urgent sustainability problems. “Development’s” relative neglect of HE can be redressed, by revitalizing its public and common good mission for sustainable human development.
A new Agenda for Higher Education: Re-integrating scholarships for sustainable human development